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Ned Yost moves Jason Hammel to bullpen

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Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports that Royals manager Ned Yost has decided to move struggling starter Jason Hammel to the bullpen. Burch Smith will start in Hammel’s place against the Twins on Wednesday.

Hammel, 35, is 2-11 with a 6.16 ERA and a 66/31 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings this season. He leads all starters in losses, hits allowed (134), and earned runs allowed (70). He is taking the move in stride, saying, “It’s a little slice of humble pie. But sometimes it’s necessary to reshape, reinvent, right the ship. I’ll go down and help out.”

Hammel is in the second year of his two-year, $16 million contract signed in February 2017. The contract includes a $12 million mutual option for the 2019 season with a $2 million buyout. The Royals will likely elect to buy him out after the season.

The Royals acquired Smith, 28, from the Mets in exchange for a player to be named later or cash last December. Smith has pitched 38 1/3 innings, all in relief, for the Royals this season, compiling a 5.40 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 21 walks. Yost said of Smith, “He’s got more of a starter’s mentality than a reliever, if you understand what I’m saying. It takes him a long time to get loose. He’s got routines. It’s not good for a reliever.”

Padres, Rockies set new modern era record with 92 combined runs in four-game series

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The Padres and Rockies combined to score 92 runs across a four-game series between Thursday and Sunday at Coors Field, setting a new modern era major league record. The previous record was 89 combined runs scored by the Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers in four games between May 16-18, 1929.

The Rockies won Thursday’s game 9-6. The Padres scored six runs in the ninth inning on Tuesday to overcome an 11-5 deficit and ended up winning 16-12 in 12 innings. The Rockies won 14-8 on Saturday. On Sunday, the Rockies brought a 13-10 lead into the ninth inning, but Wade Davis and Jon Gray combined to allow four runs. Kirby Yates held the Rockies scoreless in the bottom half of the ninth to secure the 14-13 win for the Padres. Thanks to two wild comebacks by the Padres, they split the series.

Along with 92 runs, the Padres and Rockies combined for 131 hits of which 17 were home runs. Charlie Blackmon had four hits in the first three games and three hits on Sunday, overall going 15-for-24 with four homers and 10 RBI.